CARACAS – Dozens of roads were blocked on Monday in Venezuela by opponents of President Nicolas Maduro amid a so-called “National Bash” day of protest called by the anti-Chavista MUD alliance to reject the efforts to rewrite the country’s constitution proposed by the government.
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in Caracas starting about noon, displaying flags and signs and intending to keep the protest going until 4 pm.
The MUD disseminated images on the social networks showing the gatherings of opposition supporters in several parts of the Caracas metro area’s five municipalities and in at least 10 of the country’s 23 states.
Some of the demonstrations were broken up by the Bolivarian National Guard, Venezuela’s militarized police force, or by the Bolivarian National Police, mainly in Caracas, where clashes occurred between protesters and security forces.
Although security forces used tear gas in some of those clashes to disperse the demonstrators, the protesters regrouped after almost all those instances.
So far, the opposition coalition has provided no details regarding any injuries incurred by protesters during the day and has only complained that one of its demonstrations was “suppressed” by security forces in the central state of Aragua.
The Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office reported that 18-year-old Yofre Rodriguez was injured “in the head” in that state, to which MUD added that he was shot three times.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Henrique Capriles said that the protests will continue and that organizers hope to increase the number of “bashes” around the country “until the people are respected.”
“Very soon, the ‘bash’ will be in Miraflores” presidential palace, he added.
MUD has rejected participating in the election of members of the National Constitutional Assembly scheduled for July 30, after which the assembly members will set about drafting a new constitution, although the opposition already considers that upcoming effort to be fraudulent and has called upon its supporters to continue demonstrating, as they have been doing since April 1.
At least 75 people have been killed and 1,500 injured amid the almost three months of social and political turmoil and the pro- and anti-government demonstrations, according to official figures.